Many people who visit Las Vegas are afraid to stay off The Strip. They worry they'll be too far away from the real action. But that's just not true if you're at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. And wouldn't you know it, we have a Hard Rock Hotel sportsbook review to show you why.
Of course, it should be noted that this hotel has undergone a full reinvention. It is currently closed for renovations and will reopen as Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. We will still be referring to it as the Hard Rock for the purposes of this review, but we will harken back to the rebrand whenever necessary.
Anyway, whether you're looking for a place to actually play or just visit to change up the pace, we promise there's something for you at the Hard Rock. And don't get caught up in this off-strip stuff. It's closer than you think.
Hard Rock Sportsbook Experience
Don't fret if you don't have everything you need to know about the Hard Rock Las Vegas sportsbook or its hotel and casino. We've done the heavy lifting for you.
From where it's located and the hours of operation at the sportsbook to a comprehensive review of the casino, hotel and things to do, we've got everything you could ever need just below.
As already mentioned, though, please remember this spot is being rebranded as the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas sportsbook. Our review is strictly based on the features it had before. Some will invariably change, but the crux of the experience should still come across.
Pros of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
- Sportsbook divided into two sections
- Popular pool parties hosted on-site
- Sportsbook app you can sign up for
Cons of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
- Located off The Strip (though not too far)
- Currently closed for renovations
- Some amenities are unclear post-renovation
Hard Rock Sportsbook Hours of Operation
- Monday-Friday: 12 p.m. to 8 a.m.
- Saturday: 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Sunday: 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Again, once this reopens as Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, you'll want to double-check and make sure they continue to keep Hard Rock sportsbook hours.
Location of Hard Rock Sportsbook
Although the Hard Rock Vegas sportsbook is located off The Strip, at 4455 Paradise Road, you're not far away from the hustle and bustle of Sin City. You're a mere sub-five-minute car ride away from McCarran International Airport and then another sub-five-minute ride to the center of the strip, right around the Paris Hotel and Planet Hollywood Casino area.
Renting a car shouldn't be necessary. The old Hard Rock offered a free shuttle to and from the airport, and you are technically within walking distance of The Strip.
If you do have a vehicle, the Hard Rock had free self-parking prior to closing. You could also pay an extra fee to use valet parking. The new setup under the Virgin Hotels brand should be the same setup.
Place Your Bets at the Hard Rock Sportsbook
It isn't quite clear what the floor plan or accommodations will look like at the opening of the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas sportsbook. They have kept their specs for the casino and sportsbook under pretty tight wraps. They have, however, released plenty of information about the hotel rooms.
Previously, the Hard Rock sportsbook was wall-to-wall screens and seating for its customers. Not only that, but they attempted to divvy up the room by purpose. One half was dedicated solely to horse racing. The rest was for all other sports.
Hard Rock always did a good job of running sensible hours. Opening up at 8:30 a.m. on the weekends allowed for Saturday college football bettors and Sunday NFL wagerers to capitalize on early-bird lines.
They also excelled at streamlining the transaction process. You did not have to be present in order to pick up your winnings. They had a pay-by-mail service in addition to a sportsbook app that could facilitate direct withdrawals and transactions from a provided account. Bettors were then able to wager on distant futures, like the next Super Bowl winner or NBA champion, knowing they wouldn't have to return to the Hard Rock's sportsbook to grab their potential prizes.
It remains to be seen how the sportsbook will operate following the rebrand and renovation. Chances are it will be an identical experience across the board, with updates made to the decor—mainly chairs and TV screens—and not much else. We do not know whether Virgin Hotels sportsbook will have its own app or one through a partner.
If one thing changes, it will hopefully be the refreshment options. The Hard Rock had food and cocktails nearby, but nothing too intense. The next version of the hotel would do well to have a bar smack dab in the middle of the sportsbook. It invites people to stay longer and also makes it so they don't have to leave the room just to get food or drink.
Not that you need a Vegas sportsbook to get in on the fun. We've made a list of the top online sportsbooks you can use from the comfort of your own home:
Most of these sportsbooks also offer a Vegas-style casino and a racebook. Yes, enjoy your favorite Vegas games (roulette, poker, blackjack, bingo, keno, craps, baccarat, etc) online!
Hard Rock Casino
The size of the Hard Rock casino floor will not be changing as it moves over to Virgin Hotels. It will still be a space that spans 60,000 square feet.
Most of the differences will be in the design. Virgin Hotels has committed to revamping Hard Rock's music and pop culture theme to a more modern and chic setup. It's much too early to tell whether this will adversely impact the look and feel, but the memorabilia from bands and pop-culture icons initially sprinkled throughout the Hard Rock casino will be missed.
The redesigned space will still include all the usual options: slots, virtual betting, automatic roulette machines, and table games like poker, roulette, craps, blackjack, etc. But where Hard Rock didn't go out of their way to draw in high rollers, most of whom prefer to stay on The Strip, Virgin Hotels plans to do the opposite. They will have specialized lounges dedicated to those who want to bet higher amounts on table games and slots.
Another inevitable change will be the number of servers floating around the casino floor to take drink orders. The new direction Hard Rock is being taken in suggests complimentary drinks will not be a staple. The company taking over space has unveiled its plans for an ultra-fancy bar that runs throughout the casino. You'll probably have to pay for your drinks, or there will be some sort of voucher system implemented like they have at the Venetian.
Hard Rock's customer rewards program is still called Wild Cards at their many other locations. Virgin Hotels will definitely wind up changing the name. Like other programs, though, you should expect to earn points from bets placed at slots and tables. You should also expect transactions at the sportsbook to be ineligible toward your tally.
Though the redemption process at Virgin Hotels hasn't been made official, it's reasonable to assume it will mirror the benefits offered by Hard Rock and everywhere else. Your points should be redeemable for event tickets, free bets, and room discounts.
Staying at the Hard Rock
When the Hard Rock was open, it was one giant fiesta.
DJ'd pool parties were the norm during the day. They would also bring celebrity DJs into their nightclub. They didn't host a bunch of shows—like comedians or magicians—but they did have residencies for famous singers, bands and, you guessed it, more DJs inside their amphitheater.
This made Hard Rock even more of a must-experience. They were essentially hosting concerts three to six nights a week—many of them performed by legendary acts. People staying on The Strip would actually go to the Hard Rock for their concerts and DJ'd pool parties.
Between all this and incredibly affordable room rates, the Hard Rock naturally appealed to the younger demographic. Pictures from Virgin Hotel's rebrand suggest they'll try serving a larger base.
To be sure, they won't be weeding out the college-age students and general twenty-something customers altogether. They still have the famous pool area and will inevitably be hosting DJ'd events of their own. But they are taking less of an all-partying, all-the-time approach to their decor.
You should expect the cost of rooms to rise along with this shift. The Hard Rock's primary amenities were basic: wifi, a gym, a business center, et al. Virgin Hotels will probably have a few upper-scale ones—like fancier Tvs and pillows, for starters.
There likewise figures to be a boatload of changes made to the restaurant list as well. The Hard Rock predominantly had casual places, such as the Hard Rock Cafe itself. The assumption is that Virgin Hotels will install at least two to three higher-end eateries, in addition to a couple of more sit-and-go or grab-and-go options.
The new renovation will also include larger areas to host conferences and private events. This isn't expected to cut down on the casino floor or the number of rooms they have available, but it could impact the acts they book for their music venue. It isn't immediately clear if they'll introduce more shops into the fold. The Hard Rock only had souvenir joints.
This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Change can be good. Rest assured, though, this won't be the Hardwood Hotel & Casino as many remember it. The place is undergoing a contemporary spin. Expect it to be more like an off-strip Cosmopolitan or Bellagio than youthful, nonstop party scene.